Following three consecutive home losses, St. Olaf men’s hockey finally ignited its offense this past weekend to gain its first home victory of the season, a convincing 4-1 blowout over Lawrence. This turnaround performance was led by scoring juggernaut Drew Otto ’18, who netted two goals and an assist in the win, bringing his goal total to six, tied for second most in the conference. Adding another goal and assist during the Oles’ next game, a 3-3 tie against Marian, earned Otto the MIAC Men’s Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week for his leadership and offensive prowess.
Q: What was the main factor during your offseason training that led to your early season improvement?
A: I think the biggest reason I have had early success is that I was able to skate with my teammates 10 to 12 times over the summer. I was able to gain chemistry with my line-mates, and I think that has translated over into games. It allowed us to be ahead of the curve as far as communication and has allowed us to maximize the understanding of each others’ tendencies.
Q: What professional athletes would you consider to be role models? What lessons have you learned from them? Have you modeled any part of your game after a particular hockey player?
A: For me it has always been about watching different NHL players and trying to mimic what they do best. With that being said, I think the player that I try to mold my game around the most is Alex Ovechkin. Not only is he the best goal scorer in the world, but he plays with an unmatched passion and energy. I don’t quite have the skill to match his goal scoring ability, so the latter of the two is what I try to implement into my game.
Q: What are your goals for the remainder of the season, both personally and as a team? How do you think you’ll achieve those goals?
A: My goal for our team is to make it into the MIAC playoffs. Although our record may not show it at this point in time, I can see the strides our team is making under this new coaching staff. We are learning how to play the game the right way and there is no doubt in my mind that this will start leading to success in conference.